Emirates, Etihad to Trial IATA Travel Pass

The digital platform contains a global registry of authorized Covid-19 testing centers and allows users to share their test results with airlines.

Photo: Etihad Airways

In a forward-thinking move to help drive the restart of global travel, The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has teamed up with both Emirates and Etihad to test its brand-new mobile app, the IATA Travel Pass. On this platform, passengers will get to create a “digital passport” through which they can verify their pre-travel Covid-19 tests, securely manage all travel documentation, and make sure they meet government requirements at their next destination.

The app is being made available for Etihad customers on selected flights from Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of 2021, with a view to expand the trial to other destinations should it be successful. Meanwhile, Emirates will be implementing the first phase of its own rollout starting in April, when passengers departing from Dubai can validate PCR tests through the app and share their Covid-19 test status directly with Emirates even before they reach the airport.

The IATA Travel Pass contains a registry of travel requirements for all destinations, so users will be able to find accurate, updated information on entry rules regardless of where they may be traveling from. Another feature is an IATA-managed database of authorized testing laboratories (and eventually vaccination centers) around the world; this digital platform will allow authorized labs and test centers to securely send test results or vaccination certificates to passengers. The IATA Travel Pass has also been developed with the possibility for users to share their test results along their journey via their mobile devices.

Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo, and Security, said in a statement, “This is the first step in making international travel during the pandemic as convenient as possible, giving people the confidence that they are meeting all Covid-19 entry requirements by governments.” He added, “our aim is to give all governments the confidence to reopen borders to travelers based on verified vaccine and testing data.”

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